Saudi Arabia has announced a new service for overseas pilgrims, which will issue permits for Umrah and prayers at the Grand Mosque in Makkah, as well as for visiting the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah.
The Ministry of Hajj and Umrah introduced the service in partnership with the Saudi Data & Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA).
Overseas pilgrims, like residents in the kingdom, can now use Eatmarna and Tawakkalna Applications to book their Umrah trips and visit both mosques.
The ministry said those applying for the permits must first register on the Saudi Quddum platform, to be able to use Eatmarna and Tawakkalna. Travellers are advised to download both applications on their mobile phones before coming to the kingdom.
All airports in the kingdom are operating at full capacity again following new measures from Saudi Arabia's civil aviation authority earlier in October.
Authorities urged users to update the two applications through the Apple or Google app stores, as well as Huawei's AppGallery and the Galaxy Store on androids.
Saudi Arabia opened Umrah for vaccinated foreign pilgrims in August, 18 months after kingdom closed its borders due to the pandemic.
Pilgrims must provide a Covid-19 vaccination certificate with their request to partake in Umrah.
The Grand Mosque opened at full capacity in October as Saudi Arabia relaxed Covid-19 measures.
The kingdom removed the requirement to wear masks and observe social distancing in open spaces, after a decline in the number of coronavirus infections, the official Saudi press agency (SPA) reported.
Pilgrims will still be required to wear face masks and make reservations to perform Umrah and prayers through the Tawakkalna and Eatmarna applications, to verify their immunity status at the entrances of the two holy mosques.
The government accelerated a nationwide vaccination drive in a bid to revive tourism and other pandemic-hit sectors, such as sports competitions and entertainment.